Long-time Edmonds business owner Howard Chermak announced Wednesday that he is retiring.
Chermak, founder of home remodeling firm Chermak Construction Inc., made the announcement during Wednesday’s Edmonds Chamber of Commerce weekly breakfast networking meeting.
The new owner of Chermak Construction, effective Aug. 1, is Noah France, who owns Woodinville-based France Construction. Chermak said that he and France “have worked together for years.” France, who is an accomplished master carpenter, “is the most well-qualified person to take over Chermak Construction,” Chermak said.
While France is now company president, there will be a year-long transition to ensure that Chermak’s company culture is maintained, Chermak said.
“I am very proud to say that I will be involved for another year in the company,” he added, with the goal of ensuring a smooth transition for new ownership and the company’s existing 35 or so employees.
“The idea behind this was, everyone keeps their job, everyone does the same thing that they always did. The culture says the same,” Chermak stressed. “And really Chermak Construction just continues to do its business in the same way that it has.”
Chermak said that a search for new owner began with the creation of a disaster plan five years ago to address “what if something happened to Howard, how would the company survive?”
“It was very important for us to take a very closely held company, which is a difficult thing to do, and move it to a second generation,” he added.
When he started the company in 1980, Chermak said, he was also the carpenter, and “it took me five years to hire a first employee.” Over time, he began putting together “a company of experts” to grow the business.
Over the years, Chermak said that he and his wife Judy Chermak have grown the company to focus on residential remodeling that will tackle “any size job” from changing chandelier light bulbs in an three-story high entryway to full “design and build” home remodeling services “from beginning to end.”
He described the company’s culture as “one of caring and collaboration and just being able to be the best you can in that job.”
“Chermak is not going to substantially change as we move this on and Noah will become part of the fabric of the company,” Chermak said.